By Andrew Gribble, al.com:
Alabama had so many scholarship running backs last season, two never even took a snap. One year later, that’s the sort of problem the Crimson Tide wished it had heading into its second bye of the season. Dee Hart’s transfer to Colorado State and Alvin Kamara’s departure left Alabama with two fewer running backs by the start of spring football. Five-star freshman Bo Scarbrough failed to qualify. Two quarters into October, junior speedster Kenyan Drake went down with a broken leg. Freshman safety Ronnie Clark, who joined the group to provide depth, tore his Achilles tendon and is out for the season. T.J. Yeldon, who dealt with a minor injury in September and has been limited at practice throughout the month, missed the fourth quarter against Tennessee and isn’t practicing this week because of an injured foot.
By MARQ BURNETT, ledger-enquirer.com:
Alabama right tackle Austin Shepherd said the Crimson Tide’s offensive line has trained for moments like this since position coach Mario Cristobal arrived two years ago. The Tide will be without starting left tackle Cam Robinson “for at least two weeks,” but Shepherd said it’s next man up as every player on the line trains at every position. “I mean, it kind of happens all the time,” Shepherd said. “The way Coach Cristobal teaches it, he kind of tries to teach you all five positions at once. When I got here five years ago, you learned your position and that was it. The way the young guys are learning it now, you pretty much start at center and work your way out and pretty much learn all five at once.”
By Cliff Kirkpatrick and Marq Burnett, Montgomery Avertiser:
One of the defensive goals for the Alabama football team during the bye week is to sharpen its skills against a mobile quarterback. There are standouts who the Crimson Tide must face at the end of the season such as Nick Marshall at Auburn and Dak Prescott from Mississippi State. Alabama had trouble stopping Joshua Dobbs last Saturday against Tennessee when he came off the bench. Dobbs completed 19 of 32 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns. However, it was his running ability that hurt. He led the team in rushing yards with 75.
By Charlie Potter, BamaOnline:
The Alabama Crimson Tide returned to the practice field Tuesday after two days of rest following the team’s 34-20 win over Tennessee. The Crimson Tide hit the field for its first of three practices during its second bye week. Alabama practiced outdoors in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts on a 79-degree afternoon in Tuscaloosa. The biggest absence at Tuesday’s practice was true freshman left tackle Cameron Robinson, who sustained a high ankle sprain against Tennessee and will likely be out a couple of weeks, according to Nick Saban. In Robinson’s place with the first-team offensive line was Austin Shepherd, who has started at right tackle every game this season for the Crimson Tide.
By By Nolan Imsande, Crimson White:
Alabama has almost two full weeks to figure out who will replace freshman left tackle Cameron Robinson when the team plays LSU on Nov. 8 in Baton Rouge. “We have a couple of options there,” coach Nick Saban said. “Grant Hill and Austin Shepherd both can play tackle. Whichever one plays right and whichever one plays left would be one option, and leave Leon [Brown] where he is. Hill has played pretty well when he’s had to play this year, so far. He is a guy we will give an opportunity to, at least in practice.”
By Michael Casagrande, al.com:
The season couldn’t have started on a better note for Adam Griffith. Starting for the first time, Alabama’s kicker came up big in the season opener with West Virginia. Nailing all four kicks ― three from 40-plus yards ― Griffith was named SEC special teams player of the week. He made his first seven kicks overall, but hit a rough patch in recent weeks. Missing four of his next five kicks, Griffith’s only attempted one field goal in the last two games.
From The Bleacher Report:
The College Football Playoff selection committee came out with its first Top 25 rankings Tuesday. The No. 6 Alabama Crimson Tide were left out of the playoff picture, leaving many to question if they should be in one of the top four spots.
By Cliff Kirkpatrick and Marq Burnett, Montgomery Advertiser:
The first College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday night, and Alabama coach Nick Saban didn’t even pay attention. The finals rankings will determine what four teams will play in the first playoff. Rankings will be updated each week leading into the Dec. 7 bowl game announcement. “I have no idea about any of that, and to me, none of that matters. What does it matter?” Saban said. “It only matters where you end up in the end. What matters to us is how you we do in each and every game. We have four games left to play. If we can be successful in those games, there’s a chance we can play in the SEC Championship Game. None of it matters if we are not successful in our games.”
By John Harris, triblive.com:
Don’t call Alabama’s passing attack Air Saban — not yet. For now, call it the Lane Kiffin Effect. Last year, Alabama, known first and foremost as a running team, ranked among the national leaders offensively — No. 25 in rushing, No. 51 in passing yards per game. This year, those numbers are reversed. Since Nick Saban hired Kiffin as his offensive coordinator, Alabama now ranks No. 23 in passing and No. 30 in rushing yards per game.